Brian Wonders:  The Making of a Children's Book

Blowfish: How-To


For my launch I'm bringing the storybook world of Brian Wonders to life by creating a giant pink blowfish of course.  Here's a bit of a how-to for anyone who wants to create their own at home. 

Step 1 -- get your hands on a giant balloon.  This will be the main body of the fish.  Apparently an 8 foot balloon can lift up to 15 lbs. when filled with helium.   

Step 2 -- Get your hands on some sequins.  I headed to the Fashion District here downtown and found this cool shimmery fabric and thought it would be way too much disco, but then I decided that was a good idea.  Sequins are notoriously heavy as many of you know and the yardage required to cover this fish may force me to rethink the helium angle... she may be too heavy...  still, she needs to be suspended...  

Step 3:  Bring on talent.  This is Jonathan, he is a fashion designer and an expert pattern maker and normally he creates elaborate wedding gowns for celebs.  For this project, he's creating Pinky's sequin 'skin'.  I told him a good starting point would be to pretend he was creating a wedding gown except instead of a celebrity it would be for an 8 foot blowfish.

Step 4 -- Foam.  Lots of foam.  Here I'm using long strips of it to create top lip and figure out proportions and placement.  

Step 5 -- Schematics.  This should actually be closer to step 1.  Here's how I broke down the fish into basic shapes before cutting the shapes out of foam.  The tall long one represents the foam shape for the lips.  The rhomboid shapes are my guides for the fins.         

Step 6 -- Get a room.  It got a little tight in the studio so we shifted to an empty retail space on 5th Street.  You can see the foam has been sculpted into crude fins and we are laying out their position.  Jonathan will then take measurements and make a pattern of the whole thing once we finalize their placement.  

Step 7 -- Get some sleep or you'll find yourself doing the dance of the seven veils.  You can see Pinky in the background taking shape but much more work is still ahead.  More to come... In the meantime RSVP to my launch downtown don't miss Pinky's debut.

by Victor Robert